What do you think are the most common money fears? With the economy still looking a long way from recovery, there’s a big focus on everything money at the moment, from the state of the job market to the cost of groceries and even what we’ll do in the future. Will people who can’t get jobs right now be able to get a livable pension? A survey by Forbes Women highlighted the most common money fears that women have – and here’s what you can do about them.
Finance is complicated. It’s not just simple addition – it’s working out taxes, health care costs, budgeting, inflation, cost rises. It’s having a plan for the future, and understanding the different methods of saving and investing. The problem is that women aren’t commonly taught this information, and it’s not something we tend to discuss, either. If you are struck down with fear about finance, do something about it. A meeting with your bank manager, for example, could teach you a lot about your current options, or sit down with your other half and work through some calculations. There’s even been a surge in female-only investing groups and finance clubs, which give you somewhere to learn and socialize, and of course there are masses of finance books. With a little time and effort, this is one of the easiest common money fears to fight.
For a lot of women, marriage was always on the cards. Whether you spent your early years collecting wedding dress clippings or just presumed you’d meet the right person eventually, over 85% of women envision getting wed at least once. But what if it doesn’t happen? It’s not just a life partner that you miss out on, it can be financial security, too, which is why a large number of women worry that they simply couldn’t support themselves through life. If you are stressing, try making a budget, using just your income. Create a realistic financial plan, and you’ll be reassured that you can rely on yourself, and don’t need a man for financial support.
Have you ever walked past a bag lady and fretted that you’d end up like that? Or woken up petrified that you will end up destitute? Nicknamed “Bag Lady Syndrome,” this is a result of the economy collapsing, and many women losing the security they felt that they had. It can be tough to realize that you have no savings, or that your family would no longer be able to offer support! Planning out your future, including worst-case scenarios, is the best way to fight this. Make sure your plan includes spending and saving, along with insurances, and update it at least every three years. It’ll show you how you can save, and reassure you that your position is okay.
There are endless newspaper and magazine stories about women who lost huge money on a bet, or invested their life savings and lost the lot. There are even people who lost their homes and cars, and end up on the streets – and after being bombarded with stories like this, it’s no wonder women are cautious about investing. Most women completely discount investment for this reason. Find out about the safest and best investment options for you by meeting with an advisor and talking everything through. They should be calm, considerate and knowledgeable, and a qualified advisor will make investing easy. Check them out on finra.org or sec.gov to make sure they are bona fide first, then get investing in your future!
Women don’t tend to ask for pay rises. While men will analyze their pay and request a rise frequently, most women will shy away – and analysis suggests this is due to not wanting to upset the boss, or risk losing our jobs. Unfortunately, that means we miss out on the pay we deserve, and earn a lot less than if we did have the guts to ask. Practice negotiating a rise with friends and family members, and then give it a try. It’s really not too scary as long as you know what you are asking for, and why you deserve it!
Do you worry about becoming a burden on your family, partner or children? Genworth Financial recently revealed that 72% of female respondents in a survey avoided talking finance with their friends and family, to avoid upsetting them. Instead of bottling it up, work out how much health, disability and care cover you need, and talk to an advisor to work out the costs and what you can afford. Then have the conversation. You’ll feel much better for it, and be much better prepared.
Do you worry that you’ll sacrifice your career to give birth and bring up children? It’s no secret that the lives of working women do change when they become parents, and a study by the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement found that a typical college-educated woman will earn $500,000 less than her equivalent male due to childcare. But, it doesn’t have to be the end of your career, or your earning potential. Try keeping your foot in the door by staying up to date with qualifications and industry news, and invest aggressively to combat any time that is taken off. It’s not just children, either – with people living longer, many young women worry that their parents will require care, and thwart any life plans. Get reassurance of what will happen by talking to an estate planner, and looking at whether current assets and insurances will cover the costs of care. If it won’t, make changes to relieve the pressure.
These common money fears might be common, but there is no doubt that you’ll feel a hundred times better once you’ve taken action to stop worrying about them. If you act early enough, there’s almost always a great solution, and you can rest assured that you are prepared for any eventuality. Do you have a money fear? I’d love to hear about it!
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